Chapter6 - CHAPTER 6 Examining Witnesses Attacking and...

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CHAPTER 6 __________________________ Examining Witnesses; Attacking and Supporting the Credibility of Witnesses A. MODE OF WITNESS EXAMINATION 2. Scope of Cross-examination Questions for Classroom Discussion [p. 431] 1. Prosecution for bank robbery. At trial, Defendant takes the stand and denies any involvement in the robbery. On cross-examination, the prosecutor asks Defendant to admit that she owed thousands of dollars in gambling debts at the time of the robbery. Defendant objects on the ground that the question goes beyond the scope of the direct examination. How should the court rule? 2. Plaintiff sues Defendant for negligence after the two skateboarders collided on a sidewalk. Plaintiff claims she was skating along when Defendant struck her head-on. Defendant denies this and claims Plaintiff lost control of her skateboard and ran into Defendant. At trial, Plaintiff testifies that she was skating carefully and that Defendant skated into her path. On cross-examination, Defendant asks Plaintiff to admit that this was the first time she had gone skateboarding. Plaintiff objects on the ground the question goes beyond the scope of the direct examination. How should the court rule? 3. Same case as in Question 2. Plaintiff calls Witness, who testifies that she saw Defendant looking backward just before the two skaters collided. On cross- examination, Plaintiff asks Witness to admit that Plaintiff paid Witness to testify as she did. Plaintiff objects on the ground that the question goes beyond the scope of the direct examination. How should the court rule? 1
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3. Leading Questions Questions for Classroom Discussion [p. 432] Following is a portion of a transcript in a divorce case in which Wife, the plaintiff, seeks a divorce based on the alleged adultery and acts of mental cruelty of Husband, the defendant. She seeks substantial alimony and child support. Does the judge correctly rule on the objections? What other objections could have been made? BY THE COURT: Plaintiff may call its first witness. P: Thank you, Your Honor. Plaintiff calls Husband. [Husband is duly sworn and takes the stand] P: Where do you live? H: I live at 123 Main Street. P: Isn’t it true that you live there with a certain Ms. Fifi LaRue? D: Objection, leading. BY THE COURT: Overruled. The witness will answer the question. H: Yes, we both reside at that address. P: In fact, you and Ms. LaRue are having an affair, correct? H: No. We sleep in separate bedrooms. P: You expect the jury to believe that? H: It’s the truth. P: You started your affair with Ms. LaRue the day after you had a fight with your wife during which you called her a fat pig and struck her in the face, correct? H: I never struck my wife. We got into an argument and shoved each other. P:
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Chapter6 - CHAPTER 6 Examining Witnesses Attacking and...

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